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The Louvre Museum Getting Into Cruise Business

By ,   July 20, 2019 ,   Cruise Industry

The Louvre Museum (Paris France) is partnering with a top-luxury cruise company to offer cultural trips of the Adriatic and the Persian Gulf. The French travel brand Ponant Cruises has designed unique itineraries with the museum for two inaugural culture-themed voyages, including around Adriatic Sea which ends in Venice, Italy, that may upset locals who fight against cruise ships navigating in the port city. A spokeswoman for the company stressed that Ponant’s Le Lyrial (max capacity 244 passengers) is “small and intimate in size” in comparison with superliners with 1000+ staterooms. 

Le Lyrial cruise ship

Vacationers can choose between two itineraries, that are scheduled to depart in August and November 2020, with one taking in ancient sites around the Adriatic and the other sailing through the Persian Gulf. The cruises include onboard programming designed via collaboration with Louvre experts.

The Louvre’s director of the department of decorative arts, Jannic Durand, and its expert on Greek sculptures, Ludovic Laugier, will join the Adriatic voyage. Onboard the Middle East sailing will be Louvre curator Yannick Lintz, the museum’s director of the department of Islamic arts.

  • Ponant's first cruisetour departs from Piraeus-Athens to Venice, with fares from USD 4,000 pp. Highlights include passing through Corinth Canal to Aegean Sea. Shore tours include Acropolis (Athens) and Diocletian’s Palace (Croatia). Le Lyrial is due to sail past Saint Mark’s Square on her way to San Basilio terminal in Venice.
  • The second cruisetour (through Hormuz Strait, Persian Gulf) departs from Muscat Oman and ends in Dubai UAE. Travellers will sail with Ponant’s newest ship - Jacques Cartier (fka Le Surville) - a megayacht with 92 staterooms. Passengers will learn about the Persian Gulf's artistic heritage and Islamic cultural traditions. The tour includes a visit to Qatar’s Museum of Islamic Art (Doha) and then heads to the Louvre Abu Dhabi before ending in Dubai.